Where the mighty waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans collide.
The Antarctic is undoubtedly a bucket-list destination, but the sometimes-calm, sometimes-volatile body of water known as Drake Passage is the stuff of travel legend. Known to many as one of the roughest sea passages in the world, this icy expanse not only offers rare glimpses into the world of several marine mammals but also allows you the time to come to terms with the sheer size and scale of the Antarctica region. Whether you want to scout the horizon for breaching humpback whales or take a deep breath of the fresh, icy air from the top deck, our Drake Passage cruises will undoubtedly be an unforgettable adventure.
Our Drake Passage cruises & tours
Highlights of Drake Passage
Drake Passage tour reviews
Drake Passage FAQs
Trips on or before 31 December 2022
If your Intrepid trip starts on or before 31 December 2022, you must provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.
If you are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, you may apply for an exemption. Exemptions will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. To apply, you must provide a medical certificate from a medical professional.
Children under 18 are exempt. Children aged between 5 and 17 years old must provide proof of either vaccination, recovery or a negative COVID-19 test.
Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards
From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises).
However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.
Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.
The Drake Passage is situated between the southernmost tip of Argentina (Ushuaia) and stretches to the top of the Antarctic Continental Shelf. The passage itself is 1,000km in length and takes around 36 hours to cross in good weather and up to 48 hours if the water is choppy.
Despite its reputation of being one of the most treacherous water crossings in the world, the Drake Passage is extremely safe. While that may not have been the case for the first explorers of the region centuries ago, new technology, safety procedures, and specialised equipment nowadays ensure you'll have an extremely uneventful crossing.
In short, no. You don't have to cross the Drake Passage to get to Antarctica but it is often viewed as one of those 'bucket-list' things you simply have to do if you're travelling to the region. If the thought of a 48-hour journey over turbulent seas isn't for you, you can opt to take a plane straight over the crossing via a chartered flight.
While you can experience horrible weather conditions and rough waters at any time of the year, summer is generally considered to be the best time to make the crossing through the Drake Passage. This is because the weather is usually calmer and doesn't produce as many storms as the weather in spring or autumn. This means that travelling in either June, July, or August will theoretically give you the best chance of avoiding awful weather.
Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. However, we’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.